Middle-Class U.S. Airline Jobs at Risk
WASHINGTON, DC—Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) issues this statement on the Meehan-DeFazio bill to stop wasteful spending by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on pre-clearance facilities that disadvantage U.S. airlines and undermine middle-class jobs.
“We strongly support legislation introduced by Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) that would stop the CBP from giving an unfair competitive advantage to foreign airlines flying to the U.S. from points not directly served by a U.S. carrier. This legislation is consistent with our view that as aviation globalization expands, our government should not support policies that undermine American air carriers and airline workers.
“While Americans stand in long airport lines in this country, it makes no sense that the DHS is advancing a plan to direct taxpayer dollars to build a better facility in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where it only benefits the state-run airline Etihad. This bill would prevent this plan from moving forward, as well as similar arrangements in Dubai and Doha. The U.S. government should not be in the business of giving airline passengers incentives to fly on a foreign airline, and that’s exactly what a CBP pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International would do. If passed, this new law would not have an impact on already established pre-clearance facilities in Canada, several Caribbean islands and Ireland where U.S. carriers have a presence and benefit from these facilities.
“We urge Congress to pass this common sense legislation and pressure DHS to redirect precious CBP resources to aviation ports of entry that support U.S. airlines and their employees. The Meehan-DeFazio bill gives our aviation industry the chance to compete on a level playing field.”